Living without A/C or fans

Someone in one of the low-footprint groups who’s living without fans or air conditioning is looking for tips on how to not be so hot in the house.

I responded:

1) I make sure that the outsides of the windows are shaded from the sun all day. Particularly paying attention to where the sun hits the house in mid to late afternoon.

It really makes a difference, having curtains or awnings etc outside the windows, preventing sun from hitting glass, versus just curtains inside the windows. (On that note I have planted a lot of trees at my place over the 5 years I’ve lived here, and that helps.)

2) On extra hot nights I sleep on the bare tile floor. I realize that may not be an option for everyone but in mid life I have gained enough weight to be able to sleep on a bare floor without my bones protesting much. I’ve actually gotten some really good nights’ sleep that way lately.

3) I haven’t done this yet, but an outdoor screened area is a much much cooler place to sleep at night than indoors. I keep telling myself I’m going to build one but I never get around to it, and the mosquitoes are really bad here; otherwise I would just sleep on the ground outdoors without the screened room.

4) I dump cans of rainwater on myself and let whatever slight breeze there is cool me off a bit.

5) I take naps in the hottest part of the day. And I get up super early to enjoy the coolest part of the day.

6) I try not to cook indoors; either I eat cold salads and other cold food, or I cook outdoors in the solar oven or portable high-efficiency twig-fired stove.

— For what it’s worth, from a person living without fans or air conditioning in Florida long-term. (I happen to dislike fans and AC because of the noise and the artificial airflow, so that makes it a little easier. But still I also do it to save a bit of electricity — and even more, to reduce my dependence on electricity. And yes, as other people have mentioned, the risk of heat on the body is very real and we have to keep an eye on how we’re doing.)